Every once in a blue moon a toy comes along that is brilliant and beautiful in its simplicity, and Lego definitely fits that description. Think I am exaggerating? Just take a few moments to ponder the many marvellous descriptors for this classic toy:
- Fun (for both little kids and BIG kids!)
- Timeless (what other toy has remained insanely popular for over 60 years?)
- Entertaining (some Lego sets can literally keep you entertained for weeks on end)
- Adaptable (Lego sets are incredibly varied and can be enjoyed by children and adults who are at various levels of skill)
- Educational (Lego sets are perfect for developing greater creativity and learning how to follow directions and illustrations in order to create something fantastic)
Some toys are designed with only one primary function: entertainment. However, Lego products are not only incredibly entertaining, but they can also be used to give your child the skills he or she needs in order to excel academically. Whether you are a homeschooling parent, a teacher, a tutor, or you simply want to help a child get excited about learning, Legos can help. Here are a few different ways that Legos can help your child learn valuable skills while having fun!
If you have a child that is suffering from lack of creativity, a Lego set can definitely help. Kids nowadays are trading creative play for the mindless entertainment that video games and television shows offer. Without engaging in creative playtime, kids become less imaginative and are less likely to develop the creative skills necessary to invent new products and ideas that will improve the world they live in. If you are dealing with a child whose eyes become glazed over when they are asked to use their imagination to build something, then a well-chosen Lego set can help get their creative juices flowing.
It takes a great deal of coordination to put together a complicated Lego set (have you SEEN some of those tiny pieces?) While Legos are not appropriate toys for toddlers or babies, they are great for kids who have stopped stuffing everything in their mouths and need some help developing their coordination skills.
Lego sets can become great incentives for helping kids learn geography. If your kids struggle with geography or find it boring, consider purchasing a landmark Lego set as a reward for their mastery of a geographical area. For example, if you want your kids to learn all of the countries in Europe, try purchasing a Lego set of a landmark in Europe (such as the Eiffel Tower) to reward them once they have met their goal. You could also purchase a Statue of Liberty Lego set to reward a child once they have memorized all of the United States Capitals. They will likely enjoy the time spent building the set with you as much as they enjoy reaching their educational goals. If your child is not yet old enough to handle some of the more complicated Lego sets, you can purchase simpler Lego sets to reward them for reaching their educational goals.
Learn Problem-Solving Skills
If you have ever built a Lego set, then you have undoubtedly run into a situation where something didn’t fit quite right and you had to figure out what part of the set you put together wrong. Situations like this are great opportunities for kids to learn problem-solving skills and figure out how to find the mistake and fix it. Developing these types of investigative skills will help them deal with tough problems that they will meet up with throughout their lives.
Thanks to Legos, learning doesn’t have to be boring and coma-inducing. Ole Kirk Christiansen changed the world for the better when he invented those little plastic bricks in 1949.
License: Creative Commons image source
Emma Taylor is a contributing writer for School Tutoring Academy.